© Diaconía España

Our member in Spain, Diaconía España (Diaconia Spain) is working on reducing the number of Spanish Roma children dropping out of school. The latest educational project launched by Diaconía España has the specific aim of reducing school absenteeism among a specific group of young people in Spain; those of a Roma background, and the project is beginning to bear its first fruits.

The evangelical organisation, in collaboration with other Christian protestant churches and organisations in the country, are trying to change the situation which affects the lives of many Roma children across the country, limiting their access to education, and running the risk of reducing employment and future career prospects. The project is supported by the Ministry for Education for Spain, who also funds the initiatives.

With this project, Diaconía España is developing specific workshops whose aim are to provide school support for children with a Roma background. The workshops are intended to broach the themes of personal hygiene, dental care, early marriage and managing disputes with classmates; and to develop knowledge and skills in these areas. By working with young people on these specific themes, our partners in Spain are optimistic they can work towards reducing the rate of school drop outs, and they believe that actors within the church community have a key role to play. They also believe that encouraging parents to get on board with the project objectives is an important way to achieve success. It is for this reason that pastors from our member organisation are encouraging parents to send their children to the workshops, and having confidence in the project and its intended outcomes.

So far, the results of the project have impacted approximately 300 Roma children, giving them the space to participate in workshops, and also to work on their homework and school tasks. Given the initial success of the project, Diaconía España are hoping to involve more schools in the initiative.

You can learn more about the project from Diaconia Spain on their website.